‘We are not in the Vase to make up the numbers’ says Brantham boss Abrahams

Ollie Mann of Brantham Athletic

Ollie Mann of Brantham Athletic - Credit: Contribute

Brantham Athletic boss Paul Abrahams says his side are not in the FA Vase to make up the numbers, when they entertain Yaxley at the Brantham Leisure Centre, in the third round this afternoon.

The Blue Imps are the only Suffolk side left in the competition – a competition that has seen them reach the last 16 and last 32 in the previous two seasons.

The final 32 is the reward for today’s winners – and Abrahams is looking forward to the challenge.

“I want us to go as far as we can in the Vase,” the former Colchester United striker said.

“We’ve had good runs in the competition in last couple of years and as the Vase is only for teams up to our level, we are not in it to make up the numbers. Far from it.

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“We have a young side and have been a bit inconsistent but we’ve also had some very good victories – in the last round at Wembley for instance.”

Indeed Brantham reserved one of their best performances of the season in north London last month when they won 4-3 after extra-time at Wembley.

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“The win at Wembley has hopefully given the boys confidence,” Abrahams added.

“It certainly should have done.”

Abrahams is also hoping to enjoy home comforts at the Brantham Leisure Centre this afternoon – it’s not often Athletic are drawn at home in a cup competition.

“This is my first home draw in the Vase, in 13 months in the job,” Abrahams added.

“It’s only our second home draw in a cup competition from the last 12 ties.

“We’ve put a bit more preparation into this game and had Yaxley watched.

“They are a good side. I don’t think they will give us any surprises, but we will have to be at our best.”

Yaxley, known as ‘The Cuckoos’ are currently in second place in the United Counties Premier, with 13 wins from 18 games. They have only lost three league matches.

Brantham will be hoping Ollie Mann can find the net, the hot-shot striker is back in action after a wrist injury.

“Ollie is a great for the team,” Abrahams said.

“He had two years out, then broke his wrist recently. But if he gets chances, he’ll cause problems for Yaxley.”

Meanwhile Stanway Rovers are also in FA Vase action this afternoon, the Essex side travelling to St Margaretsbury.

The South Midlands Premier side are ninth in the table – a table that includes leaders Sun Sports, who Stanway beat in the last round.

St Margaretsbury were thrashed 9-0 in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup, by Hemel Hempstead in midweek, a result that left ‘Bury’ manager Gavin Kelsey unimpressed.

“The scheduling of the Herts Senior Cup game was ridiculous,” he fumed.

“I’d have thought the Herts FA would want a Herts club to do well in the Vase.

“You learn from these things, but I’m not at all concerned by the result.

“I’m fully focused on Stanway.”

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